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As a former zookeeper and an avid stargazer, the theme for my map was an easy choice: animals in the night sky! I only had "space" to fit my favorites (there are over 40 different animal-named constellations). I hope my map will help others better recognize these star shapes when they stare into the cosmos...I feel I know them much better now myself!
There is one magic day during summer, when colorful cuddlies and squeeshy shiny balls are falling down from the sky, and kids are reaching for them. This is the universe as seen through the toddler’s eyes who watches the show and gives names to all planets he sees. I was inspired by 2 years old nephew - we’ve been watching starry sky and falling perseids together :-)
A few years ago I experienced the most beautiful night sky ever on Aitutaki, a small island lost in the Pacific, part of the Cook Islands. Never have I seen so many stars in my life, it was as if I was floating in the middle of the Milky Way (well, technically we are :) ). As I was staring into the night I couldn't help myself wonder if there were anyone else on the other side of the Universe staring at a similar but different star filled sky. What if, somewhere, other beings would also be amazed by their night sky? Maybe they would have a different type of moon, or would be facing strange planets? This is what inspired me this illustration :) But to be a reminder of my memories, the constellation represented are actually the ones I saw on that night of 2015.
This is the map of a mysterious planet located within the Kuiper Belt, a field of comets near the outer solar system. It is inhabited by alien creatures who feed on purple, glowing particles called Twilits to survive, allowing them to use magic to create entire continents and oceans.
I wanted to give the planets little personalities of their own, whilst having fun with the notion of gravity. I used a selection of vintage and existing fabrics, and accessorised the planets using crochet, trims and tassels. It is housed within a handmade diorama lined with inky corduroy that has been decorated with tiny felt stars and French knots.
Dedicating this magical illustration to my favourite story book from my childhood 'The Little Prince' by French writer and aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry first published in 1943. Despite this story being nearly 80 years old; it holds infinite knowledge about life, a forever store of wisdom and most importantly, teaches us about love. About kindness, respect towards nature and our beautiful world, looking from above the stars as he looks around the planets and tells his story, teaching a lesson planet by planet. Not only it is a book about all the most important things in life but it lets us believe in innocent imagination like we did when we were children. “All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it.”